Temperature-dependent function of the glutamine phosphoribosylpyrophosphate amidotransferase ammonia channel and coupling with glycinamide ribonucleotide synthetase in a hyperthermophile

J Bacteriol. 2000 Jul;182(13):3734-9. doi: 10.1128/JB.182.13.3734-3739.2000.


Genes encoding glutamine phosphoribosylpyrophosphate amidotransferase (GPAT) and glycinamide ribonucleotide synthetase (GARS) from Aquifex aeolicus were expressed in Escherichia coli, and the enzymes were purified to near homogeneity. Both enzymes were maximally active at a temperature of at least 90 degrees C, with half-lives of 65 min for GPAT and 60 h for GARS at 80 degrees C. GPAT activity is known to depend upon channeling of NH(3) from a site in an N-terminal glutaminase domain to a distal phosphoribosylpyrophosphate site in a C-terminal domain where synthesis of phosphoribosylamine (PRA) takes place. The efficiency of channeling of NH(3) for synthesis of PRA was found to increase from 34% at 37 degrees C to a maximum of 84% at 80 degrees C. The mechanism for transfer of PRA to GARS is not established, but diffusion between enzymes as a free intermediate appears unlikely based on a calculated PRA half-life of approximately 0.6 s at 90 degrees C. Evidence was obtained for coupling between GPAT and GARS for PRA transfer. The coupling was temperature dependent, exhibiting a transition between 37 and 50 degrees C, and remained relatively constant up to 90 degrees C. The calculated PRA chemical half-life, however, decreased by a factor of 20 over this temperature range. These results provide evidence that coupling involves direct PRA transfer through GPAT-GARS interaction rather than free diffusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenine Nucleotides
  • Amidophosphoribosyltransferase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Amidophosphoribosyltransferase / genetics
  • Amidophosphoribosyltransferase / isolation & purification
  • Amidophosphoribosyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Ammonia
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases / genetics
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases / isolation & purification
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Gram-Negative Aerobic Rods and Cocci / enzymology*
  • Gram-Negative Aerobic Rods and Cocci / genetics
  • Guanine Nucleotides
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Temperature


  • Adenine Nucleotides
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Guanine Nucleotides
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Ammonia
  • Amidophosphoribosyltransferase
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases
  • phosphoribosylamine-glycine ligase